Andrew says Goodbye
A message from Aurora’s ex-Chair of Trustees to everyone connected with the charity.
My name is Andrew Law and I was Chair of Aurora’s Trustees. For those of you who are unsure of the role of Trustees, their duty is to:
Accept ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of their charity, ensuring that it is solvent and well-run, and delivering the charitable
outcomes for the benefit of the public for which it was set up.
I have been privileged to be involved as a Trustee with Aurora and to have served in its best interests since Aurora was first launched in
2006 and since I took over as Chair in March 2009. I was recently made redundant and am now in a position to realise a long-held dream of
moving from London down to Cornwall, where my wife comes from.
By the time you read this, I will have stepped down and handed over to a new Chair – John Berg. I have known John for many years (he
was previously the Chair of Trustees of Tulip Mental Health Group, where I was the Deputy Chief Executive). I know that John will do a
fantastic job and I am relieved to be handing over the reins to such an accomplished individual.
It has been an extraordinary and humbling experience to have been involved with Aurora for such a long time. I have never ceased to be
amazed by the courage shown by clients in dealing with unbelievably traumatic and painful experiences, many of which have been hidden
and unresolved for many years. Your courage, determination and perseverance is truly humbling.
I am also in awe of the incredibly high levels of dedication and commitment to clients and the organisation, shown by volunteers and staff. I
have been involved with many organisations in health and social care over 25 years and rarely have I come across such high levels of
commitment and dedication and a real belief that with working together in partnership with clients, a real difference can be made to people’s lives.
The commitment and vision from Susannah and Nick particularly has been astonishing. Without their drive, dedication, passion and comitment, one of this would have been possible.
I am profoundly grateful for having been given an opportunity to be a little part of Aurora’s life.
What neither Susannah nor Nick knew when they first approached me to become a Trustee, was that I am a survivor myself. I was sexually
abused by my violin teacher, when I was aged between 12 and 15 (I am now 54). Although, at the time, my father confronted my violin teacher (who admitted the offences) and also told the school, no-one told the police (as they should have done) and the violin teacher was allowed to slip away and go to another school. I was deeply traumatised by these events. My self-esteem, my self-confidence and my ability to form relationships were all deeply damaged. Through hard work, dedication, perseverance and many years of psychotherapy, I was able to resolve these experiences and move from a victim to a survivor. The climax of my recovery was a decision I took some thirty years after I
was abused, that someone had to take the role of the responsible adult in this abuse, as neither my father nor the school had the courage,
responsibility or decency to do so. After some careful consideration, I went to the police and told them I wished to charge my abuser.
To cut a long story short, he was charged, went to court, pleaded guilty and was given a three and a half year prison sentence (reduced to one year on appeal). It was a cathartic, healing experience for me and I have no doubt, contributed immensely to my recovery. However, what really helped me to take control of my recovery was the love, support and care of family and friends and the skilled psychotherapy I received. I only wish there had been an Aurora around when I needed it. I have no doubt had I been able to access the type of support and belief in the individual, on offer at Aurora, that my recovery would have been massively helped and supported.
I wish everyone at Aurora – clients, volunteers and staff – peace, happiness and joy. Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of your lives. Perhaps we can set up an Aurora in Cornwall?!